Home Repairs and Improvements Can Save MoneyThis month at SWAT, we’re offering our Home Repair Special – take $50 off any new service scheduled with our Home Repairs Division. And one of the best money-saving repairs (& valued home improvement) is replacing that old toilet with a new water-saving, low flow toilet. No more leaks, and save on your water bill!
Many low-flow toilets are very economical, too. All the finer points of low-flow toilets are covered nicely in this short-and-sweet article from The Family Handyman:
Whatever you call it, the toilet is one of the most important items in your house. While the color and cost matter, how much water it uses and how well it flushes matter more. A good one conserves water and generates enough power to clean the bowl in a single flush. (A bad one can be a 20-year pain in the butt.) This article will help you choose a high-performance dunny that will fit your bathroom, budget and backside.
A new generation of low-flow models
Since 1994, low-flow toilets that use 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) or less have been the federal standard. The first generation of low-flow toilets sucked—or rather, they didn’t. That’s mostly because manufacturers tweaked a few things to reduce the amount of water used but didn’t change the basic design. You had to flush the darn thing twice (so much for water savings!). But 15 years later, more of these toilets actually work. Manufacturers have made significant design improvements such as larger trap-ways to prevent clogging and larger flush valves that allow a more powerful rush of water to enter the bowl. The following tips will make choosing a new low flow toilet a lot easier.
Don’t pinch pennies
You can get a “contractor special” for less than $75. But everything from the working parts to the quality of the glazing will likely be low quality. And don’t expect a powerful flush from a cheap toilet. You’re going to use your toilet every day for years, so get a good one. Plan to spend $100 to $500 for a gravity toilet and $225 to $600 for a pressure-assist model.
Shop plumbing supply houses and bathroom showrooms
Home centers offer some but not all of the top-ranked toilets. For the widest selections in makes and models, visit bathroom showrooms and check online retailers.
Unique features can cost you later
Custom seats and unusual flush mechanisms add a cool factor, but they’ll cost you time, money and frustration if they ever need replacing. A replacement custom seat, for example, costs more than $100 (if you can even find one years later).
Solve a sweating tank problem
If a sweating, dripping toilet tank has been a problem with your current can, choose a pressure-assist model. Since the water is held inside an inner tank, the outer tank won’t sweat. Or if you prefer a gravity toilet, order one with factory-installed tank insulation for an additional $50 to $100 (depending on the model).